3 Ways To Boost Your Kid's Confidence


September 06, 2010

1. Push him to take on Challenges. If your son is doing well at art, for instance, don't settle for the same old art class. Enroll him in one that's more advanced. "Parents often fall into the trap of not wanting their kids to be uncomfortable," says Susan Bartell, PsyD, author of Top 50 Questions Kids Ask. "That tells them that you don't think they can do it." Kids need to push the boundaries. If they don't succeed at one thing, they'll excel at another.

2. Teach him to observe and then blend in. "Many children feel a lack of confidence when joining a group," says Ellen Kennedy-Moore, PhD, author of Smart Parenting for Smart Kids. And for good reason: Kids who barge in create resentment, so teach yours how to watch what other kids are doing and then slide in without interrupting. For example, it's usually not a good idea to ask, "Can I play?" It stops the action and tempts some kids to say, "No." Instead, coach your child to catch your catch the ball when it rolls off and toss it back. "Now he's more in the game because he's kept the action moving."

3. Praise Less. Rather than always saying you're proud when your child does well, ask "Aren't you proud of yourself?" says Susan Fletcher, PhD, author of Parenting in the Smart Zone. Then ask what he did to be successful. "Getting kids to talk about their abilities ups confidence," say Dr. Fletcher.


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